Saturday 3 December 2016

Homeless 'HSE teen' died after methadone overdose

Pamela Newenham and Kevin Keane

Published 11/03/2011 | 05:00

A VULNERABLE teenager in the care of the Health Service Executive was found dead in a NAMA-controlled building after consuming a large amount of methadone, an inquest has heard.

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The body of Jonathan Doyle (19) was found in McConnell House, a derelict office building on Charlemont Place, Dublin, on June 20, 2010. The death is the latest in a series of fatalities involving children and young people who were in, or had just left, the care of the HSE.

Last year the HSE confirmed that 37 children had died while in direct State care between 2000 and 2010. Eighteen of these deaths were from "unnatural causes", such as including suicide and drug deaths.

At the time the HSE came in for sharp criticism for not keeping an up-to-date list of the number of fatalities of minors in its care. A subsequent review found that an additional 151 young people died between 2000 and 2010. Of these, 124 were under 18 and the remainder were aged between 18 and 21 and had previously been in care.

Obligation

The inquest was told that the building in which Mr Doyle died was being used by the homeless.

Jonathan's girlfriend at the time, Aideen Griffin, told the inquest how the couple stayed at the building along with homeless man Andrew Doyle on the night of June 19. She awoke the next morning to discover Jonathan "blue".

A post-mortem later found Mr Doyle had died of methadone toxicity.

The inquest heard Mr Doyle had been in state care as a child and that the HSE was aware he was using drugs. The HSE said the State had no legal obligation to provide after-care services once someone turned 18.

"Jonathan chose to enter after-care but did not engage with all the after-care services," the HSE's Kelly-Marie Kennedy said. The jury returned a verdict of misadventure.

Irish Independent

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